Posts Tagged ‘Phil Slater’

The Latest top 5 list comes from one of the more prominent musicians in Sydney – Simon Barker. Not only a great drummer, Simon also runs Kimnara Records which puts out consistently high quality CDs from Australian artists such as ‘Band of Five Names’, Scott Tinkler, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon and Carl Dewhurst. Two of my favourite Australian records are Phil Slater’s “The Thousands” and Matt McMahon’s “Paths and Streams” which both feature Simon and are released under the Kimnara flag. Simon has provided a lot of guidance in helping release ‘The Dilworths” debut album.

Also, if you are free on Monday the 1st March be sure to get down to the Australian Film Festival screening of “Intangible Asset No. 82” – a documentary following Simon’s search for a shaman and grandmaster musician in South Korea. Click here for more details.

Here are his top 5:

Jack Dejohnette

It’s hard to describe how much joy I’ve experienced while listening to Jack Dejohnette play the drums. I first heard him on Keith Jarrett “Standards Volume 2” when I was a teenager and have been a huge fan ever since. Jack’s way of creating streams of unresolved conversational rhythms had a huge impact on me, and his willingness to consistently develop new approaches to his instrument (conceptually and physically) is really inspiring… a wonderful musician.

Elvin Jones

What can you say? I’ve been listening to Elvin Jones since I started and am still completely mystified by the depth of his pulse and ability to create such a profoundly personal style. I love so many records that he’s on but my favorite is “Crescent” by John Coltrane, featuring the track “Wise One”… one of the most lyrical grooves I’ve ever heard. There are so many facets to Elvin’s playing… the powerful ritualistic playing, the incredibly swinging accompanist, the amazing ballad playing… genius!

Kim Seok Chul

In 2000, I was working in Korea and heard a recording of ritual music from Korea’s East Coast performed by a group of shamans led by Kim Seok Chul. The drumming had a profound effect on me and has changed the direction of my life. Since hearing this music I’ve spent many years traveling to Korea to study, perform, and engage with Korea’s extraordinary musical heritage. The style of drumming performed by members of Kim Seok Chul’s family is characterised by dense streams of conversational rhythms that are mesmerising. I was very fortunate to meet Kim Seok Chul in the final days of his life… a once in a lifetime experience!

Jim Black

In 1997, while touring Europe with Scott Tinkler, I was very fortunate to hear Jim Black perform with Ellery Eskelin. At the time I was unsure of what I was trying to do musically and feeling pretty confused (while also having a blast with Scott and Adam). With that in mind I went to Jim’s gig and was completely blown away. He played in a way that included everything from trad to ‘Blondie’… heavy metal, jazz, ‘The Bangles’… it was an incredible experience that was refreshing and inspiring and so exciting to listen to. Jim and the community of musicians he’s involved with have had such a positive impact on so many young musicians… a very inspiring guy.

Lately I’ve been really getting into ‘Questlove’, Ed Blackwell, Joey Baron, Rick Marotta, Hamish Stuart, Tony Williams, Mitch Mitchell, Ritchie Haywood, Paul Motian, Vernel Fournier, Steve Jordan, Tony Buck, Katsuya Yokoyama, Watazumi, Feldman, as well as the various drummers who played with Curtis Mayfield and James Taylor.

Also, I have to say that perhaps the most influential musicians in my life have been people who I’ve played with who want to try things that may not have been played by other drummers. Mark Simmonds had some killing drum beats that were fully formed in his head which were unique, while Phil Slater and Scott Tinkler have some really inspiring ideas about drumming, pulse, phrasing and ensemble playing.



P.S. Check out http://www.kimnara.com.au


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Hey everyone,

Last night I got to film the great Dave Panichi’s Septet at the new 505 venue.
It was a great night featuring Phil Slater, Peter Farrar, Carl Morgan, Hugh Barrett, Brendan Clark and Evan Mannell.
Dave writes some great conceptual compositions and I hope to put up a few videos over the next week to show those who couldn’t make the gig.

For now here is Peter Farrar’s solo on the last tune for the night. Peter is one of the most interesting and exciting players in Sydney and it’s rare to see him perform. Hope you enjoy:



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This interview is taken from the December 2009 issue of FINE Music Magazine.

Interview by Chris Rhule

How did you first start playing music and what instruments did you play?

My mother started a school band program that my older brother and sister went through, so when I got to year 2 it was decided I’d learn the violin, then later the Trumpet, double Bass and French horn. At one point i was playing the horn and trumpet in concert band at the same time!

How did the trumpet become your instrument of choice?

I hadn’t had as much formal training on the trumpet and perhaps that was what made me want to drop the other instruments. Playing trumpet meant playing in the Stage Band and when i was in year 6 i formed my first jazz group and so i guess i was attracted to performing solo more than hiding up the back of a concert band.

What were some of your first musical influences?

I remember going to James Morrison concerts at the Opera House and falling asleep on the floor, but i think he was one of the first people to really inspire me to play music for a living. His brother John has been something of a mentor to me over the years and they demonstrated how music could be enjoyable and entertaining. Later I met Phil Slater and Warwick Alder, which is when I started discovering more modern and improvised music which largely influences me today.

You are currently studying at the Sydney Conservatorium Of Music.

Can you describe that experience?

Perhaps the greatest thing, as I near the end of the degree is the musical friendships I’ve developed with people. My peers have been Alex Boneham, Steve Barry, James Jennings and Jeremy Rose and they have as much as the teachers inspired me to write and play improvised music. The con provides us with teachers to guide us and the facilities to allow us to make hours and hours of music.

Who are some of the local musicians and teachers who have influenced and inspired you?

Mike Nock has been very supportive towards me and in support of the Dilworths from the first day he heard the band almost 2 years ago. Along with Mike, Judy Bailey, Dale Barlow and Phil Slater I feel have help shape my views and direction in music.

Is there a particular style of jazz that you would like to concentrate on in the future?

One of the things I like about jazz not being a mainstream music is that there aren’t enough gigs to be playing with the same band night after night so therefore you find yourself playing in all different styles so right now i have no idea what style in the future I’d like to play. I love sitting in at Unity Hall and playing Jazzgroove so at the moment I guess im in a place where id like to absorb lots of different styles which hopefully in turn will help shape a sound for me in the future

You have also played in groups like Kid Confucius and Beautiful Girls. How do you find that experience playing in a broader musical spectrum.

There is a different playing demand in pop music. Improvising and soloing comes second, the challenge is night after night to be able to play with a high intensity and nail the parts exactly like the record as the thousands of fans expect to hear. Those bands were the first time id played to crowds in the thousands!

How do you find the current music scene in Sydney, particularly as it relates to jazz?

There’s so many great musicians and bands around which is super healthy regarding the scene. There are a few venues with weekly gigs and others come and go. I guess the biggest challenge we have trying to play jazz is getting the money in from the punters so that the venue operators stay happy.

You have played at some of the great overseas Jazz Festivals. Can you tell us about those experiences?

I was lucky enough to be a part of the Australian All Star Youth big band in 2004 and 2005 which gave me the opportunity to go to Montreaux, Monterey and North Sea Jazz festivals. I was able to see Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Kenny Wheeler and so many more big names so it was such a great chance to be exposed to some of the top music in the world.

Your current musical project is The Dilworths. How did this group come together and tell us about the musicians you have assembled?

After my first New York experience i was so inspired after being there for 6 weeks that I decided I needed to start my own band with guys that were going to push me to play better. I called the best players I had ever met at the time and fortunately they agreed to get together and it was an instant vibe that we had to keep playing together. Karl’s been one of my favourite players for years and have always been inspired by the energy he can create when he plays. Alex and I have been playing together since we were 13 so naturally i added him and when put together with Hugh and Cam they make one of the most supportive an attentive rhythm sections in town. These guys are more than just band members, they are my brothers!

You are launching your new album for Jazzgroove this month. Tell us about the music on that album?

This is high energy, highly interactive jazz. They are all tunes I’ve written over the last two years and are inspired by the energy and vibe I discovered whilst hanging in New York seeing music every night.

Ideally, where would you like to see your music career heading in the future?

Next year will see the band doing some touring, and i will spend 3-4 months overseas on a scholarship from the Big Brother foundation where I plan to play with as many different people as I can in New York and Europe. Further than that I have no idea but hope it’ll involve making music with many more people.


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